Safeguarding and Protecting Children

Across the UK a wide range of children are involved in a wide range of sports activities from community participation to national and international level. However, research suggest that 58,000 children are at risk of abuse. Young people are normally abused by people they know or trust from inside or outside their family and can be both adults or other young people. Within sport and physical activity, we have a responsibility to safeguard these young people from potential abuse.  This can be done in a variety of ways, such as ensuring that a clear safeguarding policy is in place, that volunteers have had DBS checks and that everyone has sufficient training on how to spot the signs of abuse.

It is important that this is an area that people talk about, and are aware of among other things that are being prioritised within the clubs environment, this is often an area that goes unspoken about, due to the taboos that exist but it is important for us to break these down and provide knowledge and training to ensure that the issues are identified and dealt with as and when they arise.

National Resources


NSPCC are the leading charity in the UK protecting children from child abuse. Their website can help with:

> Training, workshop and CPD

> General information

> Advice and guidance

> Reporting abuse

> Spotting abuse

> Policies and procedures

For more information, please visit their website 

Child Protection in Sport Unit

The CPSU webiste gives more specific sports related child protection information and the website can help you:

> Assess your safeguarding practices

> Support you to put policies in place

> Sport specific safeguarding practices and policies

> Briefings and guidance papers

For more information, please visit their website


Ann Craft Trust

The Ann Craft Trust support organisations to safeguard adults and young people at risk and minimise the risk of harm. 

They offer training, resources and research to help everyone stay connected, safe and active. For more information click here 

In collaboration with Sport England, UK Sport and the Sport & Recreation Alliance, a Safeguarding Adults in Sport Resource Pack  has been created to help organisation achieve best practice in Safeguarding Adults. 

Ann Craft Trust have worked with Mind to produce a Safeguarding & managing risk (adults) guide for the sport & physical activity sector.  

Clubmark and Club Matters

Even if your club or sport and activity organisation are not going through Clubmark, looking at the four criteria can help you formulate an action plan regarding safeguarding.

There is currently four criteria for clubs going through Club Mark with three directly linked to safeguarding and protecting children:

> The Club ensures that all activities take place in a safe environment that comply with legal requirements

> The Club has necessary provision in place for the safeguarding and welfare of it’s members (‘Club child & adult at risk Safeguarding Policy that meets statutory requirements)

> There are clear systems to report, respond to and manage safeguarding concerns or allegations of poor practice or abuse that arise

> Coaches, Volunteers, Instructors, Club Activators and Club Welfare Officers receive an induction which includes information about safeguarding responsibilities, policy and procedures, and are appropriately trained in Safeguarding and Child Protection

There are more details on this on the Sport England website

This will also offer support on:

> Welfare officer role requirement and skills

> Policies and procedures

> Child protection policies

> Direct link to NGBs safeguarding and protecting children resources

Department for Education

Guidance on keeping children safe in out-of-school settings

The government has released guidance for providers, parents and carers on keeping children safe in out-of-school settings, including sports training. 

Safeguarding Code of Practice This is to help providers of clubs, tuition and activities for children understand their safeguarding responsibilities. 

Guidance for parents and carers This is to help parents choose a safer setting for their child.